Danny Ainge revealed Gordon Hayward suffered a minor setback in his recovery from a fractured ankle but is now back on track.
"[Hayward] had like one setback for a couple of weeks, maybe a month and a half ago. We were progressing a little bit too fast, we thought," Ainge said. "But, other than that, his work ethic and his determination have been amazing.
"I don't want to get people's hopes up. He still is not back on the basketball court and we have a month left in the regular season. He's got a ways to go but we're excited about his progress and his determination."
Hayward's setback may have been why Brad Stevens recently made an emphatic declaration that he would not return this season.
Hayward has tried to leave open the possibility of playing this season.
"The hope [of a return] is still there. It's something where I'm really honestly not even thinking about it," Hayward said during an appearance at a community event on Monday in Boston. "I know we're getting toward the end of the year, it's something that I'm still working toward, but if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen.
"My thoughts are that I take it day by day. And I said that from the very beginning, that's what I would do, not putting a timetable on it. The recovery is going well, I'm progressing well."